Isolated Britain bans flights from 11 African countries over new COVID variant
London, Jan. 8, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Britain already facing global isolation over a new covid-19 variant currently ravaging the country has thrown its anger over African saying travellers from countries near South Africa are to be banned from entering England to stop the spread of the South African Covid variant.
Arrivals from Namibia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Botswana, as well as island nations Mauritius and Seychelles, will be affected.
The rule will take effect on 9 January and remain in place for two weeks, the government said in a statement but there will be an exemption for British and Irish nationals. They will need to follow existing quarantine procedures.
The latest restriction brought in by the Department for Transport also affects travellers arriving from Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho and Mozambique.
It will apply from 04:00 GMT on Saturday to people who have travelled from or through any of the specified countries in the last 10 days.
It is understood most flights from the affected countries arrive at airports in England, although it is expected the policy will be formally adopted by the other UK nations.
“Entry into England will be banned to those who have travelled from or through any Southern African country in the last 10 days, including Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique and Angola – as well as Seychelles and Mauritius,” the country’s Department for Transport said.
In addition, it said, “Israel (and Jerusalem) would be removed from the list of travel corridors for England and people arriving from January 9 from Botswana, Israel (and Jerusalem), Mauritius or Seychelles would need to self-isolate.”
The UK had previously said it had temporarily banned entry of passengers to England arriving from South Africa from December 24, excluding British and Irish Nationals, visa holders and permanent residents, who will be able to enter but are required to self-isolate for 10 days.
Britain has been among the countries worst-hit by COVID-19, and its economy suffered the sharpest contraction of any in the Group of Seven during the first wave of infections last sprin